Albania PM optimistic of world support on quake recovery

Albania’s prime minister said Wednesday he was pleased with the international support he secured at a NATO summit on dealing with the aftermath of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake

TIRANA, Albania -- Albania’s prime minister said Wednesday he was pleased with the international support he secured at a NATO summit on dealing with the aftermath of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that killed 51 people and injured more than 3,000 others.

The European Union and the United Nations are coordinating international efforts, including those from the United States, to assist Albania after the earthquake that affected more than half of the country’s 2.8 million population.

Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, said in a tweet that the EU’s executive branch has pledged 15 million euros to Albania and that it will help organize a donors’ conference.

The Nov. 26 quake damaged more than 11,000 buildings and left an estimated 12,000 people homeless who are now sheltering in hotels, public buildings, tents, with relatives and in neighboring Kosovo.

The worst-hit areas were Durres, a popular beach vacation spot for Albanians, 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of Tirana, and the nearby northern town of Thumane. Many schools still remain closed.

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